A well-looked after lawn highlights a home in the same way jewelry settings accentuate a gemstone. The home stands out among neighboring houses and its value is enhanced, says Windermere Management in Spokane. This is in addition to the fun the inhabitants have on their fresh green grass.
But getting a beautiful lawn takes some work. Most people assume that all they need to do is water it. But your lawn can die from being overwatered as well as from not being watered enough. Achieving a healthy lawn requires a good understanding of the best time to water grass. This post explains the best way to water your lawn.
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The best time to water grass period
The best time to water grass is in the morning!
As a rule, the best time to water grass is when the ambient temperature is low and the ground is still wet with dew. This is usually between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. At this time of the day, the air is cool and the wind force is low.
This will give you the best water absorption rate and prevent water wastage. If you are unable to water in the morning, the next best time is late afternoon; well-before nightfall.
There are two reasons for watering during these periods.
In the early morning and evening, the air temperature is low and the relative humidity is high. This slows the evaporation rate of the irrigation water and ensures that most of it is absorbed into the soil.
- Wind Speed
Wind speed increases with air temperature, and the rate of evaporation increases with the speed of the wind. If you wait until it is bright, warm, and windy more of your irrigation water will be lost to evaporation.
Times to avoid watering your lawn
The two times to avoid watering the lawn are at night and in the middle of the day. Watering at night keeps soil wet overnight and leaves water droplets hanging onto the grass. This creates the right conditions for lawn disease. Watering at midday damages the grass and results in excessive use of water, which can soil nutrients to leach out.
How long you should water your lawn
In addition to the time of day, the frequency of watering is important. When watering a lawn, more is not always best. Overwatering can damage your lawn by depriving it of oxygen.
The goal when watering the lawn should be to moisten the ground to a depth of six inches; as far down as the roots of grass go. And to hydrate your lawn to this extent, all that is needed is an inch of water on every spot on the lawn.
How to tell if your lawn getting enough water
To determine how much water your lawn is getting and how long the sprinkler should run, do this: Place several 1” high tuna cans around the lawn and turn on the sprinkler system. Note how long it takes to fill the cans. That is how long you should water the lawn.
Additionally, to make sure that your lawn is getting enough water, after watering it, take a long screwdriver and drive it into the soil. It should easily penetrate to a depth of 6-8 inches. If it does not, the lawn is not getting enough water.
Lastly, to know if your grass needs water, step on the lawn, and if the grass doesn’t spring back, it is dehydrated.
How often to water a lawn
How many times should you water the lawn in a week? The frequency of watering will depend on the stage of your lawn and the type of grass you have on it. Here are the general rules for how often to water the lawn.
- A newly planted lawn
The goal with a newly planted lawn is to keep the top ½-2” of topsoil moist. Ten minutes of watering every morning and evening should do the trick. Be careful not to soak the soil; provide just enough water to make it a bit sticky and still slightly crumbly.
- Warm-season grasses
Generally, warm-season grasses, like Zoysia and Bermuda grass, have deeper root systems and need to be watered less frequently but with more water during each session of watering. They grow best in summer and slow down as fall approaches. They should not be watered more than twice a week.
- Cool-season grasses
Grasses like rye, fescue, and bluegrass, are dormant in summer, but grow during the fall season. They have shallower roots systems that draw moisture and nutrients from the top 2 – 3 inches of the soil. They should be watered three times a week.
Finally, the general rule for watering different soils is that clay soils need water once a week and sandy soils need water three times a week. If you follow these guidelines – water your plant at the right time of the day and in the right amount – you should soon have a lawn that makes others go green with envy.
When watering your lawn is not enough
Watering grass is sometimes not enough on its own to create the golf course like image you have in your mind. We’d love to compliment and maximize your watering efforts by treating your lawn.
We briefly covered watering in our comprehensive Summer lawn checklist blog post a couple of weeks ago. We encourage you to learn more about how to create the lawn and landscape of your dreams. If we can help in any way, we are ready and willing.